If you don’t know it, privately-owned Stoke Park provides one delightful surprise after another. First of all, it’s a historic house, built in the 1790s by James Wyatt for soldier, scholar and poet John Penn. Secondly, it’s set in 300 acres, including beautiful water-filled grounds, designed by Humphry Repton and featuring a romantic bridge – all just 40 minutes from central London. Thirdly, it’s where the famous golf match from Goldfinger and the mini-break in Bridget Jones were filmed. Fourthly, it’s two hotels, not one: choose from splendid traditional bedrooms in the Mansion or contemporary ones in the Pavilion. Fifthly, it comes with a championship golf course, amazing tennis facilities (the pre-Wimbledon Boodles Challenge is played here annually) and a quite wonderful spa. And last but not least, the staff are very welcoming and the food is excellent. Stoke Park became Britain’s first country club in 1908; now it is open to all.
Doubles from £240
+44 (0)1753 717171;
Explore the Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens on the hotel’s heritage walk and visit the site where the poet Thomas Gray is buried. Also relax in the outdoor hot tub and Scandinavian sauna that overlooks the beautiful new spa gardens.
At the award winning 3 AA rosette Humphry’s restaurant. Save room for an exquisite pudding.
Make the most of the newly re-furbished Championship Golf Course and book a lesson with one of the pros.
CLAIM TO FAME
St Giles, the Saxon church where Thomas Gray penned ‘Elegy written in a Deodora Churchyard’ – and where he’s also buried – is a short walk away.
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